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Here’s the Right Way to Serve Champagne This New Year’s Eve

All the tips and tricks you'll need to properly pour your favorite bubbly.

Pouring Champagne nantonov/Getty

After dropping serious cash on a special bottle of Champagne for your next big bash—perhaps a glitzy New Year’s Eve party—you’ll want to make sure to get the most out of the experience. Here are our tips for the perfect way to serve your bubbly.


You may have noticed fine-dining establishments have swapped out their tall, narrow flutes for tulip-shaped white-wine glasses. There are two reasons for this: The fuller, rounder bowl allows more air contact in the glass and enhances the aromatics when inhaling the Champagne, and the wider mouth lets the Champagne wash over the whole palate rather than just the center, offering a fuller taste experience. Fine crystal allows for an improved experience as well.

Serving Temperature

The ideal serving temperature for Champagne is between 43° and 48° Fahrenheit, with 45° being the sweet spot. Your refrigerator is a good place to chill your bottle, but allow at least three hours before you pour. If you are using an ice bucket, the bottle must be completely submerged, including the neck, and a mix of half water and half ice will permit full contact with the bottle and more efficient chilling.

RELATED: The 9 Best Champagnes to Pop This New Year’s Eve

Both the fridge and an ice bucket are colder than recommended serving temperature, so we suggest fully chilling and then removing the bottle about 20 minutes prior to serving so it’s not too cold. Overly chilled Champagne will lose some of the aromatics in the bouquet as well as some complexity on the palate, while if the bubbly is too warm the cork could release too quickly and go flying out of the bottle.


Opening the Bottle

Have a large cotton dinner napkin or decorative dish towel on hand to wipe down the bottle if it’s been chilling in ice water—and to help pop the cork without any spillage. Champagne bottles have a pull tab or strip to remove the foil, but it is often easier to use the short knife on a waiter’s corkscrew to cut the foil neatly and remove it.

Then it’s time to take off the muselet, which is the wire cage that holds the cork in place. Start by pulling out and twisting the “O” ring, or ceinture, counterclockwise until the bottom wire is loosened and gently remove the cage. Fold your cloth napkin in half, grasp the bottle from the base with your nondominant hand, place the napkin over the cork and grip with your dominant hand. Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, making sure to point it away from guests and any fragile objects such as glasses, mirrors or windows. Place pressure on the cork through the cloth and gently twist the cork to remove. The sound of the cork releasing from the bottle should be more of a sigh than cannon fire.


Pour a small amount into your own glass; smell and sip to be sure the bottle is not flawed. (We recommend having a backup bottle just in case. You know it’s going to get opened no matter what!) Fill your guests’ glasses to its widest point, just below where it begins to taper and narrow, and then finish filling your own to the same spot. Place the bottle and remaining Champagne back in the ice bucket, toast the occasion, and enjoy.

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